No. 39 - November 2005

Welcome to the free monthly newsletter. If you have any suggestions for additions to this newsletter,   please write to me at . 

Happy Cooking ! 




Florence Sandeman, Editor

Food Funny


Question: What was green and a great trick shooter?

Answer: Annie Okra

What's New This Month



Cooking by Country



China - Cantonese

Click the picture to find out about  Cantonese cuisine including  history and of course lots of recipes



Cooking Tip of the Month

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

Add a few drops of oil to some water. Crack the eggs and let stand in oil and water mixture for a few minutes. Alternatively, crack the eggs and peel under cold running water then dry with kitchen paper.



What's in Season

Apples, Artichokes, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chestnuts, Courgettes,  Figs, Leeks,  Onions, parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Perpetual Spinach, Squash, Turnips, Vegetable Marrow, Walnuts, Watercress



How does your  Kitchen Garden grow


So long as the frost hasn't got to them, continue to pot up plants of Basil, Marjoram,  Oregano and Parsley and grow them  indoors on windowsills for a fresh supply of herbs.


There are a few vegetable seeds which can be sown now including Hardy varieties of board beans and winter lettuce plus spring greens and early carrots. You can also plant garlic and shallot sets.


If you've grown Brussels sprouts or cauliflower, continue to remove any leaves which have turned yellow.


Don't forget to start planning next years herb gardens and vegetable plots. Many seed catalogues are now available and it's a nice way to spend a winter's evening and we've made it even more simple by including the heights and spread of many vegetable plants so you can plan a border which includes flowers for a more ornamental look.


You can also consider making a cold frame which means you can sow seed earlier for earlier harvesting.


For detailed growing instructions visit our specialist  growing herbs and vegetables section



! ! !  STOP PRESS  ! ! !


Celebrate St. Andrew's Day (patron saint of Scotland) on 30th November. Click the flag to find out more about St. Andrew and for some traditional Scottish recipes.



Culinary Christmas Gifts from Recipes4us. Order early - one less thing to think about !

We now accept all major credit and debit cards

You DON'T have to have a PayPal account to shop with us !!!

When you get to the check-out just choose the option "If you do not currently have a PayPal account  click here". You will not have to go through the process of signing up - we get your order immediately and payment is debited direct from your chosen card (including Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Delta, Electron, Solo and Switch).



This Book May contain Nuts is more than just a cookbook. As well as the 80 recipes (from carnivore to vegetarian, starters to desserts, simple to elegant, featuring many traditional dishes from global cuisines) it's gastronomically and educationally informative, A real gem of a cookery book worthy of adding to any collection. 


To read a review about it click HERE.


ISBN 095483240X     Also available from   



Cuisine Select Spice/herb Regional, Country and Themed Packs



Each pack comes with a selection of individual  "serves 4" Cuisine Select herb/spice packs plus laminated A5 recipe cards punched with two-holes so you can use them, abuse them, wipe them clean, file them  and use them again and again and again. Makes an unusual gift for anyone who cooks and particularly useful at Christmas and birthdays. Buy some for yourself too!


Regional Packs - contain 4  recipe cards plus the spices from different countries within a region of the world i.e. Asia, Africa, Europe, Oriental, Cajun/Caribbean, Globetrotting

Regional Pack Range (click here)


Country Packs - contain 3 recipe cards plus the spices all from the same country i.e.  Indonesia,  Caribbean,  Morocco,  Pakistan,   USA-Cajun,  Turkey

Country Pack Range (click here)


Theme Packs - contain 3 recipe cards plus the spices for a particular main ingredient i.e.   Fish,   Beef,   Lamb  and  Chicken

Theme Pack Range (click here)


Click HERE to order any of these items Online or Mail Order




You are probably going to hate me but....


years of experience has taught me that this is a good time to at least START thinking about Christmas

For instance, if you're planning on making your own Christmas cake or Puddings, now's the time to start if you want the best results.


I may have mentioned this before, but my mother-in-law was an excellent Christmas Pudding maker. Fortunately before she died, she passed her secrets on to me. Her secret was to make them early...NOW...and re-boil/steam then for a couple of hours every two weeks. The result was an incredibly dark rich pudding, a tablespoon of which was sufficient for me. Makes 1 medium sized pudding go a long way.


Then there's the Christmas cake. If you want to make a traditional cake with marzipan and icing, ideally, once you've covered the cake with the marzipan, you should wait a week before icing....longer if you wish and once iced, it will last for weeks in a cake tin. So why not start it NOW. One less thing to think about.


Why is it most of us only eat mince pies at Christmas? Strange but true. Ever thought about making your own mincemeat to go in them? It's quite different to shop-bought and really easy, although it should be kept for at least two of weeks after its been made so why not make some NOW. There are a couple of recipes on the site in the  Preserves  section.


What about the turkey? Yes, you can buy frozen ones in supermarkets and they're ok but I guarantee if you order a fresh one, you'll definitely taste and feel the difference. Feel? Look I don't know why, but the texture of fresh turkey meat is with many meats.


I made the mistake a couple of years ago of going to my HUGE supermarket to buy a fresh turkey the morning of the 23rd,  only to find they didn't have ANY left. I thought, "Aha! they'll bring them all out tomorrow because most people don't have fridges big enough to keep them for 2 days..." but no. When I enquired at the fresh meat counter, I was told they weren't getting any more in before they closed for the Christmas break. Where do they think we are all going to keep a 14lb bird for 3 days? So,  if you want to get a fresh one from your supermarket, or anywhere else, you'd do well to order  it  NOW .


Turkey wasn't always traditionally served at Christmas. Before its arrival Goose was the norm. Why not try it for a change. Or why not go for something completely different. How about Venison? There are some wonderful venison and goose recipes on this site if you're unsure how to cook them. Many high street retailers don't sell venison roasting cuts so really, if you want to try it you should order it NOW.


And lastly gifts. It all gets pretty expensive nowadays, so apart from the items sold in our online shop (prices start from only £4,99 !),  why not save some money by making some. I've found people love receiving homemade gifts, especially things they can eat. There are some recipes for home made confectionery on this site which would make lovely gifts. Just place them in a fancy box tied up with pretty ribbon. You can find them all if you use the search form and type in Confectionery. Oh, and don't forget home made chutneys, pickles or other  preserves.


Happy Planning!


New and featured Recipes 

V = Vegetarian       GF = Gluten/wheat Free      DF = Dairy Free

Soups & Starters 

Prawn and Pork Spring Rolls 

Vegetarian Spring Rolls     V

Clear Chicken Soup

Spinach and Ginger Dim Sum    V

Salmon Dumplings (Dim Sum)  

Steamed Pork Buns (Dim Sum) HT HD Chinese 50mins plus proving

Pearl Balls (Dim Sum)

Potstickers (Dim Sum)

Carrot and Cranberry Soup      V   GF

Tomato Anise Soup      Vegan   DF   GF

Leek Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup      GF

Fennel a la Grecque      Vegan   DF   GF


Desserts Cakes & Bakes

Saffron Bread    V

Spiced Almond Biscotti    V   DF

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies    V   DF

Baked Apples in Maple Syrup   Vegan   DF   GF

Tahitian Sweet Bread     V 

Raspberry Angel Food Cake   V   DF

Orange Biscuits     V   DF

Pears in Red Wine     Vegan   DF   GF

Vegan Fruit Rice Pudding    Vegan   DF   GF

Baked Apricots      V

Apple and Calvados Flan    V 

Welsh Amber Pudding      V


Basil and Tomato Sauce    Vegan   DF   GF

Apple and Sweet Potato Casserole    V

Creamed Mushrooms     V   GF

Courgettes with Capers    Vegan   DF   GF

Potato Pancakes With Juniper      V   GF

Bean Sprouts and Mushrooms      V   DF

Sweet and Sour Sauce     DF

Braised Bamboo Shoots      V   DF

Green Beans in Black Bean Sauce     V   DF

Egg Fried Rice      DF


Main Courses 

Cheese and Spinach Pie    V 

Cape Malay Lamb Curry   DF

Lentil Tagine   Vegan   DF   GF

Gnocchi al Forno    V

Vegetable Kedgeree   Vegan   DF   GF

Calves Liver with Port    GF

Frankfurters with Macaroni

Cantonese Lobster     DF

Beef in Oyster Sauce    DF

Crab with Ginger, Onion and Garlic    DF

Gingered Monkfish in Soy sauce       DF

Stir-fried Hoisin Chicken    DF

Beef with Cashews     DF

Sweet and Sour Pork    DF

Cantonese Roast Pork     DF



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